I found this part of the assignment quite challenging as I had been absent for some of the sessions. We touched on video in the first semester but this was very different. I read the notes that were sent out but missed some of the most important points.
This is particularly noticeable in my interview. The sound quality is not very good, there is too much background noise. When I conducted the interview I hadn’t been aware of this. I found the quietest spot in a very busy event hall. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an external microphone so the HD camcorder picked up all of the sound. I would have been better off using my phone because it has the option to eliminate background noise. I tried to edit the interview using Adobe Audition but the laborious process didn’t solve the problem.
I chose to do my report on the 6 month celebrations for the Hull City of Culture Volunteers 2017. The events were kept secret so I didn’t really know what to expect or who would attend. I knew that it was going to be an interesting afternoon and a fun story for a TV package.
I was able to interview Nicole Steel, the training and skills manager, who took time out to answer my questions. The interview was completely impromptu but I had previously heard Nicole give presentations so I knew she would come across well on camera. I wanted the report to be light-hearted and informal that is why I interviewed her in the big chair.
I also got some really good interviews from volunteers, unfortunately the background noise with the event film being played on a loop was deafening. Far from capturing the ambiance of the event it drowned everything out.
When I first looked at the footage I was disappointed because I felt that it didn’t do the event justice. I wanted it to be a positive portrayal of the Hull volunteers. It looked very unprofessional. Fortunately I had a lot of material to sort through. This made the editing process very long but I enjoyed that. I managed to come up with a TV package which was satisfactory for a first attempt. It proved to be a valuable learning process. Next time, I will familiarise myself with the equipment and make sure I am able to adapt to the surroundings.
Lead-in for TV news report
With six months still to go it’s wonderful to see the difference UK City of Culture has made to Hull.
One of the most important contributions to it’s success are the city’s volunteers.
There are currently over 2,500 volunteers signed up.
Sally Brown reports…
Script for ULAY
Hull is halfway through as City of Culture 2017. (Picture starts here)
The volunteers have played an integral part in the success of events.
They have already undertaken more than 100,000 volunteer hours.
To thank them for their hard work and dedication four celebration tea parties were held at Hull City Hall.
I chose to base my radio story on a topic that has led to much debate. Whether or not free school dinners should be replaced by breakfasts in primary schools. I had planned on getting in touch with the headmistress at my local primary school for an interview. I prepared some questions that I would ask but did not want the interview to be too rigid. I wanted to keep it fairly informal.
However, I got the chance to interview Caron, a teaching assistant from Hull, who seemed to be a more relevant candidate; she also helps with the breakfast club at her school. The interview was more spur of the moment but I had an idea of what I wanted to ask. In some ways it comes across as more natural, although greater structure would have helped to improve the focus of the interview.
I found that I had to manipulate the piece of audio considerably to get three different cuts. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the creative process of the work. I know that it is not advisable to change the order of a recording but in this case I tried to use it to illustrate how it can be edited to suit a purpose. (Is that even ethical!!?)
I am quite satisfied with the quality of the sound. I had concerns about my inexpensive Chinese phone but it proved to be okay. The interview was in a room with little background noise and I did a test recording before starting the interview. My interviewee gave some clear replies considering she had no idea what I would ask her.
Overall I enjoyed the assignment and it helped me to gain valuable experience. Next time I will have a more professional approach and be better prepared.
Three Par Cue 1
Theresa May pledges to scrap free lunches for primary school pupils in favour of providing free breakfasts.
Under the current system all children in the first three years of school get a hot meal at lunchtime.
Caron Mincke, a primary school teaching assistant based in Hull, voices her concerns.
Three Par Cue 2
The Tories plan to scrap free hot school dinners for children has been met with criticism.
Theresa May has been dubbed the “Lunch Snatcher”- reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher’s cancelling of free school milk.
Carol Mincke, a teaching assistant, explains how May’s decision will impact pupils at her primary school in Hull.
As part of the Conservative Party manifesto Theresa May proposes to end free school lunches.
Free hot dinners for children in the first three years of school will be replaced by free breakfasts for all.
Sally Brown reports:
Theresa May’s decision to scrap free school dinners for all those under 7 years old will have consequences for all families.
Under the ‘free breakfast for all’ scheme families on very low-income and who receive benefits will be better off.
Their children will, effectively, receive 2 free meals a day but in some schools this is already the case:
It is clear that the most disadvantaged children will get two meals a day rather than one.
However, around 900 000 children from low-income families will lose their eligibility for free school meals under these proposals.
A radio wrap is a very simple package, in that it includes a script, written and recorded by a reporter and will feature a clip of audio, taken from an interview with someone else. The clip is fitted into the middle of the script, so in effect, the reporter ‘wraps’ their voice around the audio clip.
I took an interview that I had done on the riots in Rotterdam with a Dutch national. I edited the interview to a 22 seconds clip using Audacity and wrote a three par cue and ending. I then recorded my introduction and summary, then added it to the clip to make a wrap for radio.
In order to post it to this blog I published it on Soundcloud and used the embed code.
I did a second interview on Brexit with a retired gentleman from Hornsea. I used the audio recorder on my phone which records in MPEG-4 format so I then had to convert the files to WAV in order to edit with Audacity.
From the interview I produced the following wrap:
Some ponts to consider when producing news stories for radio:
- needs to be clear, concise and simple
- will only go out once
- top line- summary in one-line to catch attention. Needs to be engaging, catchy, interesting and informative.
- Pub door test- imagine walking into a pub, “hey everyone, guess what…” and all heads are turned on you and listening.
- Mini ‘Hey’-2nd most interesting fact
- 3rd leads into interview
- Never assume that people know the story- Ibiza test-they’ve just come back from holidays
- Cornflake test- makes someone stop in the middle of eating their favourite breakfast cereal.
- KISS-keep it simple stupid
- 3 par cue-Hey, Mini Hey, Cue
- Wrap or donut -reporter, clip, reporter
- Pegs and Hooks-making an old story relevant. change top line , maybe new stats have come out. Fresh line. Story continues to unfold.
In order to use software to produce a short clip for a radio wrap I conducted a short interview. I originally interviewed a primary school teacher about her views on Brexit using the voice recorder on my phone. Unfortunately, the sound quality was good but she didn’t give me any interesting material for radio.
One of the big stories over the weekend was the riots in Rotterdam. I know some people in the Netherlands and contacted Roland Timmermans who agreed to give me an interview on Skype. I knew it would make for good listening because he has strong views on the Turks living in his country.
In order to record on Skype I had to download another programme Evaer. It was a bit of a hastle and took some time to get working. However, the quality of the recording is very good.
Here is the full interview:
I used Audacity to get a short clip: